When I’m feeling stressed, I go to a book store, or a library and I’ve always wondered about that and why that happens. What is there about those places that make me feel calm and at peace?
When I was growing up I loved to read. I learned to read using the old “Run Spot Run” sight word reading strategies. But I loved those books and somehow figured out my own way to decode new words. I was not in the top reading group… hmm somewhere towards the bottom I think. I literally remember the name of my group. We were the Robins. I don’t remember feeling badly and know that my teachers must have made reading a very positive experience for me. Back then, there was no pressure to read faster, better, sooner. There were no percentile’s or RIT scores. I remember in 6th grade taking a huge summative test that everyone was SO worried about, but I don’t even remember how I did on it.
My dad used to read to us, my sister and I, when were very young. He read us books way above our understanding and stopped and talked about words and events happening in books like “The Little Princess,” “The Secret Garden,” and Rudyard Kiplings, “Just So Stories.”
As I grew older, I would walk to the library. It was about a mile away, but my sister and I walked there on Saturday. There was a movie theatre close by running Elvis Presley shows or “Oliver” (I think I saw that one about four times.) We would stop at the corner dime store to get some penny candy on the way home. But I digress…… books and buildings that house them, give me peace. Why?
I remember I wasn’t very popular and would always be buried in a book. First it was the Nancy Drew series. I read them ALL. To this day, I still love a good mystery book. I read all the dog and horse stories I could get my hands on. “Misty of Chincoteaque,” “My Friend Flicka” and all the Albert Payson Terhune books about Lad and his other collies.
I had made it a personal goal to start with the “A’s” and read each and every book in our public library. Er… I didn’t even get close of course. However, I did discover some great books in the process.
Maybe it’s a combination of all these experiences and more. Perhaps it’s better not to over analyze it. Just enjoy and know the thing that grounds me and makes me smile.